Athletics Team

D’Juan Epps

Athletic Director

Bio

D’Juan Epps

Athletic Director

As a Murfreesboro, TN native, Mr. Epps is excited to join the Valor team after serving multiple roles in the Middle Tennessee athletic community. In 2011, Mr. Epps successfully developed Next Level Athletics, a non-profit basketball organization that helps youth expand their athletic ability, encourages character development, and builds life skills. Over the past 4 years, he has also held multiple basketball coaching positions at various high schools and has been an instructor for numerous basketball camps in the community.

Mr. Epps holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management from Middle Tennessee State University. He is extremely passionate about community outreach and worked as a Community Outreach Coordinator for the Department of Veterans Affairs from 2012-2016. Mr. Epps feels extremely blessed to be a part of the Valor family. He is looking forward to engaging with the scholars and developing an athletic program that mirrors Valor’s mission and values.

Outside of work, Mr. Epps is a huge basketball fan, specifically for his favorite player LeBron James. When he is not in the gym, Mr. Epps enjoys spending time with his lovely wife, Megan, and their incredible 5 year old son; along with reading/listening to motivational speaker, Eric Thomas.

Jessica Weakley

Volleyball – Head Coach

Bio

Jessica Weakley

Volleyball – Head Coach

msvolleyball@valorcollegiate.org

Coach Weakley has coached Volleyball for more than 20 seasons ranging from Middle School through Division I college. Coach Weakley has begun two volleyball club teams, and coached teams to compete for championships. Her expertise in understanding the philosophies and fundamentals of the game allows her to adapt to any age range, helping players be successful. She enjoys mentoring and raising young girls and young women through the game of volleyball. She studies the game by watching coaching videos, game highlights as well as reading through volumes of books about different skills and applies that knowledge directly to her coaching style. Jessica is excited to be at Valor Academy and is looking forward to working with these girls to share her love of the game.

  • Favorite Sports Team: Florida State Seminoles
  • Favorite Athlete: Art Monk, Reid Priddy
  • Favorite Quote: “We do things with purpose, on purpose.”
  • Favorite sports memory: Meeting and having a conversation with Bobby Bowden.

Creighton Irons

Cross Country – Head Coach

Bio

Creighton Irons

Cross Country – Head Coach

mscrosscountry@valorcollegiate.org

Creighton Irons is a musical theater writer and educator whose musicals (including FACTORY GIRLSTHE MOON AND THE SEA, and HOMEFRONT) have been on stage at Goodspeed Musicals, NAMT’s Festival of New Musicals, the American Conservatory Theater, and venues across NYC (54 Below, Birdland Jazz, Joe’s Pub) and the world. As a teaching artist, he helped create several student choral groups in NYC (where he worked with Lincoln Center Theater, Hunts Point Alliance for Children, and the Roundabout) and teaches both students and teachers with TPAC in Nashville.

Creighton also loves coaching track and cross-country! This season at Valor marks the beginning of his 7th year as a head coach. He is excited to share his love of the outdoors and passion for running with the awesome kids at Valor.

Adriana Villa

Girls Soccer – Head Coach

Bio

Adriana Villa

Girls Soccer – Head Coach

msgirlssoccer@valorcollegiate.org

Coach Villa moved to Nashville in January of 2016 from New Braunfels, TX. I grew up surrounded by sports, but soccer always had my heart. I have played soccer since about 8 years old. Growing up, I played on club teams as well as high school soccer. Dealing with injured knees, I hung my cleats up and focused on my academics at Texas State University earning a Bachelor’s in Applied Mathematics and a Master’s in Exercise Science. I have coached undergraduate students in how to play soccer and have loved every bit of it as I have a passion for sports and helping athletes utilize their biomechanics in a more efficient way.

I enjoy being outdoors with my dog, Willow, and getting out on my kayak, bike, or hiking as often as possible. Being active is not only a part of my life, but my entire life as I am also a Health Fitness Specialist for a corporate company. Staying healthy and keeping others healthy is my passion and I hope to portray that to my athletes as much as possible.

  • Favorite Sports Team: Las Chivas de Guadalajara
  • Favorite Athlete: Omar Bravo
  • Favorite Quote: It always seems impossible until it’s done. – Nelson Mandela
  • Favorite Childhood Sports Memory: Playing goalie when I was 12 years old and at that time one of the tallest players on the field. (Little fact: I haven’t grown an inch since I was 12.)

Alija Turkovic

Boys Soccer – Head Coach

Bio

Alija Turkovic

Boys Soccer – Head Coach

msboyssoccer@valorcollegiate.org

Coach Turkovic was born in Zvornik, Bosnia (Europe) and moved to Nashville, TN with his parents and brother in 2000. Graduated from Hillwood High School and got a Bachelor’ Degree in Business Administration from Trevecca Nazarene University. Coach Turkovic married his beautiful wife Edina in Nashville in the summer of 2014.

Over 20 years of soccer experience, played high school, college, multiple leagues, indoor and outdoor also in-state and out of state tournaments. Coached boys and girls for several years at HYSA (Harpeth Youth Soccer Organization). Currently works at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and second year as a Soccer Head Coach of Valor Collegiate Academy, assisted by his brother Gigo Turkovic.

  • Favorite Sports Team: Bayern Munich (Germany)
  • Favorite Athlete: Zlatan Ibrahimovic
  • Favorite Quote: “Be what you are”
  • Favorite Childhood Sports Memory: Davor Suker chip in 1996 (Croatia vs Denmark, Euro 96)

Wayne Smith

Physical Education and Girls Basketball Head Coach

Bio

Wayne Smith

Physical Education and Girls Basketball Head Coach

msgirlsbasketball@valorcollegiate.org

Aaron Batts

Boys Basketball – Head Coach

Bio

Aaron Batts

Boys Basketball – Head Coach

msboysbasketball@valorcollegiate.org

  • Coaching Experience: 10 years
  • Athletic Experience: Memphis Catholic High school 4 years
  • College Experience: University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff 3 years (Div I) & Crichton College 1 year (NAIA)
  • Professional Experience: Louisiana United Semi Pro basketball 5 years (ABA)
  • Favorite Sports Team: Duke Blue Devils
  • Favorite Athlete: Kevin Durant
  • Favorite Quote: “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”
  • Favorite Childhood Sports Memory: Currently holding the record in school history for the most points scored in a high school game (60pts).

David Lomascolo

Lacrosse – Head Coach

Bio

David Lomascolo

Lacrosse – Head Coach

mslacrosse@valorcollegiate.org

In the fall of 2015, with the help of Valor parents and administration, Coach David began the lacrosse program as the first athletic program at Valor. Originally from Albany, New York, Coach David played lacrosse at Christian Brothers Academy in upstate New York, was a walk-on midfielder at Siena College and later served as the head JV and assistant Varsity lacrosse coach at the Albany Academy for Boys College Preparatory School. David is currently a researcher for Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago where his work focuses on the use of organizational assessment to apply principles from safety science to inform and design child welfare policy and practice improvement initiatives.

  • Favorite Sports Team: UT VOLS
  • Favorite Athlete: Mikey Powell
  • Favorite Quote: “Pain is temporary. It may last for a minute, for an hour, or a day, or even a year. But eventually, it will subside… and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it will last forever.”
  • Favorite Sports Memory: Playing under the lights my senior year against our biggest military academy rival.